Wednesday, February 20, 2008

When Jocks Attack

One of the frequent questions I got while being a sports journalist was whether I had access to pro sports locker rooms. A pervy question, usually, phrased with queries about the sexual orientation of certain handsome pro athletes. (photo is of NFL trainees and hopefuls, who seem to have to audition in VPL underwear.)

I frequently had to refrain from verbally bitch-slapping my least informed readers, instead calmly explaining that I covered the LGBT athletics community, and with the exception of freestyle wrestling, gymnastics, water polo and diving (you know, the aesthetically "gay" sports), I didn't care about the NBA, NFL, or other conglomerate sports.

Well, one out gay sports writer who is more of a mainstream reporter first and gay second - I dislike such qualifications- is L.Z. Granderson. He follows the pros, and recently took some potentially violent flack for being who he is in the world he remains interested in covering.

Here's his story abut being roughed around by some thuggish pro jocks. He contextualizes antigay murders and Brady Quinn's homophobia, oh, excuse me, alleged homophobic remarks:

For those of you who are reading this and believe I'm trying to forward some sort of agenda, let me be the first to tell you that you are absolutely correct. I want a country where it isn't OK to get the snot kicked out of you because you're different.

As long as we as a culture continue to make incidents like the one involving Quinn a news brief, then we as a culture will continue to give credence to the barbaric caste system that has led to several violent attacks and even deaths of people just because they are gay. Contrary to the mistaken notion that brings us comfort, this branch of hate crimes didn't stop once the nation eulogized Shepard. Some of us just stopped paying attention.

I prefered staying with the LGBT sports movement, where the worst I got were a few snide remarks emailed from stooges for the now bankrupted Outgames; that and a lot of flirting from interviewees.

And just a reminder to those flirters, as I'm no longer a sports journalist, you're welcome to openly hit on me, unlike thuggy pro jocks, who prefer to hit.

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